IIT Kanpur Develops Nanoparticles to Save Crops

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A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) have developed a novel nanoparticle-based biodegradable-carbenoid-metabolite (BioDCM) that can protect agricultural crops from fungal and bacterial infections.

A team led by Santosh K Mishra and Piyush Kumar from the department of biological sciences and bioengineering has developed BioDCM in collaboration with researchers C Kannan and Divya Mishra from ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, and R Balamurugan and Mou Mandal from the School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad. – An IIT-K press release

This comes as the second such innovation in the agriculture sector from IIT Kanpur since last year.

Last year, out of the 107 patents filed by the institute, one path-breaking invention was the “Bhu-Parikshak” soil-testing device that has proven to significantly reduce the time and hassle required for testing soil in the lab.

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Adding to that relentless saga of bringing effective innovations to farmers, the invention of these novel nanoparticles would prove to act as shields to protect crops, especially rice crops, from infection and diseases.

Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director of IIT Kanpur, said: “Our institute has undertaken many innovative high-tech projects to help farmers. As the problems faced by the farmers are multi-fold, our efforts have also been relentless to enrich the whole farming ecosystem in general. In that regard, the invention of these novel nanoparticles would lessen the worries of crop infection and give a boost to yield.”

The technology is a protective biological alternative that can be used to enhance crop protection against various diseases in agricultural fields, especially for rice crops.

It is developed as a biodegradable nanoparticle system with a metabolite – the end-product of metabolism or the process of conversion of food, extracted from the naturally occurring common soil fungi viz. Trichoderma asperellum strain TALK1.

This extracted metabolite can be used as an effective organic antimicrobial agent and carbonaceous degradable encompassing to provide protection against crop diseases and enrichment of soil, respectively, the release said.

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